House Rules

The house rules I’m creating for my d20 Modern campaign.

1. I’m changing the way Treat Injury works. Currently, it’s a surprisingly realistic system whereby a single gunshot wound can be fatal and even if you survive you’re looking at a minimum of six hours recovery after surgery or no more than 3 hp per level per day – which means that even a high-level Tough hero with eight bajillion hp is still looking at months of recovery from a single bad round of combat. Realistic? Yes. Fun? Not so much. Therefore, the new improved Medical Kit and Surgical Kit stats, which I pilfered wholesale from KOTOR.

First Aid Kit. Purchase DC 15. Weight 4lbs. First aid kits heal 10 hp + WIS modifier + user’s skill in Treat Injury as a full round action. At the conclusion of the round, the kit cannot be reused.

Medical Kit. Purchase DC 20. Weight 10lbs. Medical kits heal 15 hp + WIS modifier + (2 x user’s skill in Treat Injury). Takes one minute. After healing a character, the kit cannot be reused.

Surgical Kit. Purchase DC 25. Weight 15lbs. Surgical kits heal 20 vitality points + WIS modifier + (2 x user’s skill in Treat Injury). Surgery takes one hour, at the end of which the kit cannot be reused.The Surgery feat improves this to 30 hp + WIS modifer + (3 x user’s Treat Injury skill) and allows the kit to be refilled with a Purchase DC of 10.


2. Massive Damage. It’s stupid, for the same reason as above. The average 20th-level character will never, in this low-magic campaign, have more than 22 Constitution – which means that a 20th level Tough/Bodyguard can be brought from somewhere around 230 hit points to -1 by a single lucky shot from a sniper rifle. Realistic? Yes. Fun? No. Therefore, I’m changing the Massive Damage Threashold to Constitution score + level, meaning that our theoretical tough guy will have to take more than 42 points of damage to risk being instantly killed – sounds about right. This also means that the Improved Massive Damage Threashold feat is now deprecated and irrelevant. I mean, you can still take it, it’ll just be 3 + Con score + level.


3. New weapons. As a general rule, new weapons will only be introduced for flavour, and will have to match an existing weapon’s stats. For instance, I’m introducing the FN P90 and the Five-seveN because I think they’re awesome, and they’re the closest thing the League has to a standard issue. Because I’m not a moron, they have the following stats:


FN P90: Longarm. (5.7mm submachine gun)
DMG 2d6
Crit 20
Type Ballistic
Incr 50ft
RoF S, A
Mag 50 box
Size Med
Weight 7lb
Purch 20
Rest Res (+2)

Due to its high quality of manufacture, the P90 is always considered a mastercraft weapon. As such, it grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls.


Five-seveN (5.7m autoloader)
DMG 2d6
Crit 20
Type Ballistic
Incr 30ft
RoF S
Mag 20 box
Size Small
Weight 2lb
Purch 18
Rest Lic (+1)

Due to its high quality of manufacture, the Five-seveN is always considered a mastercraft weapon. As such, it grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls.


New Ammo Type:
5.7x28mm
Used by the FN P90 and the FN Five-seveN, the 5.7x28mm round is designed to overcome light body armour and combat helmets. Therefore, it ignores the first point of hardness when the user is attacking an object. 5.7x28mm ammo usually does 2d6 damage.
Box (50): Purchase DC 6

These stats place both weapons fairly average. The P90 is a cross between the MP5 and the MP5K, and the Five-seveN is about the same as a Beretta 92F with a slight twist. The point is that both of these weapons can be used without upsetting the power curve, and should be treated as examples of how to add weapons to the standard listing in the Book.

The new ammo type is based on what 5.7x28mm ammo actually does.


4. Natural 1 is not an automatic failure. It’s usually a failure, but if you’ve got 30 ranks in Computer Use, you’re simply not going to automatically fail basic programming 5% of the time. You’re just not. Similarly, natural 20 is only an automatic hit if you can actually hit on attack bonus +20. A critical success occurs only if 20 + modifiers is at least equal to the DC. I don’t care how lucky you are, you will not magically pop open a bank vault 5% of the time without some serious training in Disable Device.


5. Character creation uses point buy. I’m prohibiting rolling for stats in order to smooth the power curve. I’m tempted to ramp up the initial point pool to 32 rather than 25… watch this space.


6. Knowledge (tactics) also covers general military knowledge. It’s a stretch, but none of the other categories seem right to answer the question, “Which nation uses this as their standard-issue sidearm?”. Maybe Knowledge (technology), but that doesn’t feel right.


7. Adding feats, skills and other equipment. Short answer: no. Weapons and armour are covered under House Rule 3 above, but I felt the need to mention this because of all the d20 Modern supporting books like d20 Future and Urban Arcana. Generally speaking, I’m going to say no. This goes double for new feats and skills, mainly because I simply don’t see the need. I’m sure someone will suggest Monkey Grip or Improved Oversized Two Weapon Critical or something, but the fact is that a) it just doesn’t fit the scenario and b) it’s not an Approved League Combat Technique.


8. Suppressors and silencers need clarifying, because they are both too simple and too complicated in the sourcebook. Thus, new rule: Supressors only work on subsonic ammo, which adds +1 to the Purchase DC. They have no effect on supersonic ammo. A silenced weapon suffers a -3 cumulative penalty per range increment and has a maximum range of eight increments. Listen DCs are unchanged. It is not possible to silence a shotgun or revolver unless it is specially designed (+3 to the weapon’s Purchase DC). A supressor is purchased for a specific caliber, and can be used on all weapons firing that type of ammo.


9. I’m changing the prerequisites for Burst Fire. I know why it is the way it is, I just don’t like it. I’m the DM, I’m in charge here. Prerequisites now are:
Dex 13, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Advanced Firearms Proficiency, base attack +3.


10. Permament increases in Intelligence grant retroactive skill points. There’s no rule in d20 Modern, and I’ve got Bullet Points going each way, so I’m making the decision.


11. Hit Dice can be rolled one additional time for every four character levels. You take the best roll.


12. The Cinematic Maneuvers from this page are acceptable, with the exception of the ones about firing weapons into and out of grapples. I need to work on those, and they may get their own page here.

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